Satellite Tracking





Updated daily from Service Argos and the Satellite Tracking and Analysis Tool (STAT). Click the icons for more information. View in Google Earth by downloading KML here




Why we track sea turtles...

Sea turtles are migratory, and throughout their lives, adult turtles migrate between their foraging grounds and nesting sites. Bonaire's breeding turtles return to Bonaire every two to three years for a period of two to four months. They then leave on their regular journeys -- of hundreds or thousands of kilometers -- to return to their feeding grounds.

Each year we fit turtles with small satellite transmitters in order to track their movements. Identifying sea turtles' migratory routes and distant foraging grounds helps us to better understand their life while providing valuable information in support of strategies for regional conservation.

See all the previous turtles that STCB has tracked via satellite, here.


To date...

Since our tracking program began in 2003 we have tracked sea turtle migrations from Bonaire west to the coastal waters of Nicaragua, Honduras and Colombia; north to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands; and east to Venezuela's Los Roques Archipelago.

These countries are range states of Bonaire's breeding sea turtles, regions where our turtles spend portions of their lives. Turtles protected on Bonaire may continue to be protected, or they may become vulnerable when they migrate, depending upon the degree of protection afforded by their migration and destination range states. To see all of the STCB turtle migrations click here.


How we track

We attach a small, non-intrusive satellite transmitter to a sea turtle's carapace (shell). Every time the turtle surfaces to breathe, the transmitter recognizes that it is out of the water and sends data about the turtle's location to NOAA satellites.

The accuracy of the location data varies depending on the number of messages received from the transmitter, environmental conditions and relative positions of the transmitter and the satellites. Each transmission is picked up by a receiver on the satellite and is then plotted onto a map.

Bruce, Mabel and Funchi fit a loggerhead with a transmitter - photo Marlene Robinson





STCB's Great Migration Game has a winner!

Jklynn, the female hawksbill tracked during her 2011 journey from Bonaire, reached her home feeding grounds in mid-January. Keval Bissessar's incredible prediction was within 35 km of Jklynn's destination! This is an amazing feat considering that the final destination of previously-tracked hawksbills have ranged across the entire Caribbean Basin.
Keval's prediction won him a Blackberry Smartphone provided by Woodwind Sailing Cruises. Keval will also join the 9 runners-up with the Woodwind on a special sea turtle snorkel excursion.

Runners-up, in order of prediction accuracy:
Sari van de Hoeven (177 km)
Melisa Zeeman (182 km)
Sabine Schleper (185 km)
Charlenny Rosario (190 km)
Desire Soliana (206)
Savannah Boekhoudt (210)
Tarina Holkenborg (211)
Damina Emerenciana (245)
David-Lee Winklaar (264)